The effect of blue light on the eyesight has been a recent topic of debate among eye care specialists. 

Blue light, another name for high-energy visible (HEV) light in the blue and violet part of the light spectrum, is a particularly intense light wave emitted by many modern electronics — including computers, tablets, TVs and smart phones — and even compact fluorescent light bulbs.

With today's increased use of electronic devices, the population is being exposed to more sources of blue light than ever before and for longer periods of time, yet 63% of adults do not know that electronics emit HEV blue light.

New research suggests that overexposure to blue light may contribute to vision problems such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).  While the long-term implications are just now being studied, the short-term impact of digital eyestrain affects individuals on a daily basis.

As eye care professionals, we are in a unique situation to educate and inform the public about the dangers of blue light exposure and the impact it can have on vision, as well as to provide patients with solutions that can help minimize the damaging effects.

Nicolas Fontaine and Benoît Frenette, from the School of Optometry of University of Montreal, share their views on blue light.